Remember L.A. fashion label Frankie B, known in the early aughts for its rock ‘n’ roll back story and for slinging really low-slung jeans?
It’s back, minus the really low-slung jeans and minus founder Daniella Clarke, who was married to Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and named the line after their daughter, Frankie.
Bankrolled by a new owner, L.A. businessman and real estate developer Kevin Chen, the label has been rebranded as Frankie B Hollywood. It relaunched Saturday at New York Fashion Week with a new designer, Chadwick Bell, and a new mission — to become an edgy, rock ‘n’ roll-inspired brand in the spirit of Saint Laurent and Balmain, only with a contemporary price point (less than $1,000).
That translated into layered pieces for men and women in oversize or shrunken silhouettes, including denim in the high-waist silhouette du jour, with fraying, fringe, hand-painted, tie-dye or concho-ornament details; blush suede moto pants and boleros; bomber jackets and vests; fringy ponchos; tuxedo jackets; lace T-shirts and midi-skirts stiffened by zipper-trimmed hems, and more.
FULL COVERAGE: New York Fashion Week 2015
Bell called the clothes “elevated core pieces,” adding that he was inspired by Brutalist architecture and rock ‘n’ roll lounginess, but most of all by L.A.
“We’re selling this idea of chic L.A. It’s such a hot spot now, so I think it’s the perfect time to jump in with this collection,” the designer added.
“[The name] Frankie B to most consumers is not important,” said Chen. “But the entertainment industry is important, and Christina Aguilera is still wearing Frankie B, Kate Moss, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, a lot of A-list celebs are still wearing their old Frankie Bs.”
Chen has plans to further tie the brand to the entertainment industry by launching a “festival collection” around Coachella in the spring, and he hopes to open the first Frankie B retail store in Los Angeles in coming months.
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